The Beautiful and the Damned

The Beautiful and the Damned

A Portrait of the New India

Book - 2011/08/30
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Baker & Taylor
An incisive portrait of globalized India is based on the author's uncover work for The Guardian, during which he worked at a Delhi call center and traveled throughout the subcontinent, observing its cultural contradictions and the human cost of monumental changes. By the author of The Point of Return. 40,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave

A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title

Siddhartha Deb grew up in a remote town in the northeastern hills of India and made his way to the United States via a fellowship at Columbia. Six years after leaving home, he returned as an undercover reporter for The Guardian, working at a call center in Delhi in 2004, a time when globalization was fast proceeding and Thomas L. Friedman declared the world flat. Deb's experience interviewing the call-center staff led him to undertake this book and travel throughout the subcontinent.

The Beautiful and the Damned examines India's many contradictions through various individual and extraordinary perspectives. With lyrical and commanding prose, Deb introduces the reader to an unforgettable group of Indians, including a Gatsby-like mogul in Delhi whose hobby is producing big-budget gangster films that no one sees; a wiry, dusty farmer named Gopeti whose village is plagued by suicides and was the epicenter of a riot; and a sad-eyed waitress named Esther who has set aside her dual degrees in biochemistry and botany to serve Coca-Cola to arms dealers at an upscale hotel called Shangri La.

Like no other writer, Deb humanizes the post-globalization experience—its advantages, failures, and absurdities. India is a country where you take a nap and someone has stolen your job, where you buy a BMW but still have to idle for cows crossing your path. A personal, narrative work of journalism and cultural analysis in the same vein as Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family and V. S. Naipaul's India series, The Beautiful and the Damned is an important and incisive new work.

The Beautiful and the Damned is a Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction title for 2011.



Baker
& Taylor

An incisive portrait of globalized India is based on the author's undercover work for "The Guardian," during which he worked at a Delhi call center and traveled throughout the subcontinent, observing its cultural contradictions and the human cost of monumental changes.
"A personal, narrative work of journalism and cultural analysis, The beautiful and the damned examines India's many contradictions through five individual perspectives."--Publisher's description.

Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux 2011/08/30
ISBN: 9780865478626
0865478627
Branch Call Number: 954.053 DEB
Characteristics: 272 p.

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debwalker Aug 29, 2011

"The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of New India, comes after two highly acclaimed novels (The Point of Return and Surface), and focuses on something as simple as five characters. Although categorized by the publisher as “Social Science – Business Affairs,” it reads more like a nonfiction novel, that all-encompassing fuzzy genre.

“Everywhere there seemed to be construction and ruin, hard to distinguish from each other.”

The book begins in 2004 (when the right-wing Hindu party, BJP, was about to lose power), but it really carries echoes of a dozen odd years 1998 onwards."
Jaspreet Singh
Globe and Mail

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